The Monster Of Piedras Blancas is one of those monster movies I heard about when I was a kid, but had never seen, nor did I want to see it. I was into books about monster movies and science fiction flicks when I was a kid and that’s how I heard about the film, but it sounded like some crappy Mexican monster movie. Cut to now and when Olive Films revealed they were putting it out on disc my curiosity was piqued. Over the intervening years I heard it was considered a cult classic, so now I was interested in seeing what the hell it was all about, and, basically, I dug it. Not the best 50s creature feature ever made, but certainly not the worst.
Until now I had no idea the Piedras Blancas of the title was an actual location, though as I understand it the movie wasn’t shot there. I’m actually glad I never did see this when I was a kid because this is a gruesome little tale, not characteristic for creature features of the 50s. The only late 50s flick I had seen when I was a kid where a monster was tearing people’s heads off was The Crawling Eye (1958) and seeing that unexpectedly freaked me out. Had I seen this one too, and those two shots in the movie where a decapitated head is clearly seen it would have certainly turned me white as a ghost. Of course nowadays those decapitated head shots are almost quaint in their depiction.
This movie reminded of Lake Placid (1999) and a really tame version of Humanoids From The Deep (1980), if there was only one humanoid who wasn’t interested in raping but just eating the local populace. The Lake Placid angle comes in because the movie is about this guy (John Harmon) who moved his daughter (Jeanne Carmen) to this island and started exploring the caves in the cove and discovered this humanoid salamander. Over the years he got into the routine of feeding it and when it’s not fed it goes looking for food with food being other human beings. People have been dying for years in the area and he’s kept this secret all that time. He’s kind of Betty White’s character from Placid.
Not only does the movie focus on Sturgess (Harmon) and daughter, Lucille (Carmen), but also Constable George Matson (Forrest Lewis), scientist Sam Jorgensen (Les Tremayne) and his assistant/hero/Lucille’s boyfriend, Fred (Don Sullivan).
The monster apparently was created by the producer who had helped create the Gillman from The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954). Too bad it isn’t as memorable as that one. With those tiny horns and that snout it kind of reminded me of a mutant dog. My only complaint of the movie is it just ends once the monster is killed. A minute or two afterwards with the characters would have been nice, but once the monster is knocked off that light house into the water, and the two leads embrace this fucker is over! Actually most monster movies from that period end like that. It’s funny as a kid I couldn’t have cared less to see any more of these movies after they were killed, now I wouldn’t mind getting an epilogue or something. Nevertheless I unexpectedly liked this flick and will be adding it to my collection.
Back on September 13th Olive Films released The Monster Of Piedras Blancas for the first time ever on separate DVD and Blu-ray editions!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.78:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio—English subs only.
Transfer looked surprisingly good!
Extras included . . .